Great Barrington, Massachusetts is marking the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the W.E.B. Du Bois boyhood home site.
Gwendolyn VanSant is the vice-chair of the town’s W.E.B. Du Bois Legacy Committee. She says the theme is “restore and repair,” describing the legendary African-American sociologist, civil rights activist, author, and historian’s relationship with the town as “fraught.”
“I really feel like today is an act of reparations, because in 1969, the boyhood site wasn’t welcomed by the town, and there was sort of a really disruptive, violent response in our community that’s lived on in history," said VanSant. "And so we have gathered with my organization BRIDGE and our community members in Great Barrington and all the partners that have been working on Du Bois’s legacy to sort of do a re-do on that event.”
The celebration includes speakers, music, a tree planting, and more.